The Right Stuff (film)
|The Right Stuff|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Philip Kaufman|
|Produced by||Irwin Winkler|
|Written by||Philip Kaufman|
|Based on||The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe|
|Narrated by||Levon Helm|
|Music by||Bill Conti|
|Editing by||Glenn Farr
Stephen A. Rotter
|Studio||The Ladd Company|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||October 21, 1983|
|Running time||193 minutes|
|Box office||$21,192,102 (USA)|
The Right Stuff is a 1983 American film adapted from Tom Wolfe's 1979 book The Right Stuff about the test pilots who were involved in high-speed aeronautical research at Edwards Air Force Base as well as those selected to be astronauts for Project Mercury, the United States' first attempt at manned spaceflight.
The story contrasts the "Mercury Seven" and their families with pilots like Chuck Yeager. While never selected as an astronaut, Yeager was considered by many test pilots to be the best of them all. The Mercury Seven were Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton.
The film begins in 1947 at Muroc Army Air Field, an arid California military base where test pilots often die flying high-speed aircraft such as the rocket-powered Bell X-1. After another pilot (Slick Goodlin, played by William Russ) demands $150,000 to attempt to break the sound barrier, war hero Captain Chuck Yeager (Sam Shepard) receives the chance to fly the X-1. While on a horseback ride with his wife Glennis (Barbara Hershey), Yeager collides with a tree branch and breaks his ribs, which inhibits him from leaning over and locking the door to the X-1. Worried that his injury might become known, Yeager confides in friend and fellow pilot Jack Ridley (Levon Helm). Ridley cuts off part of a broomstick and tells Yeager to use it as a lever to help seal the hatch to the X-1, and Yeager becomes the first man to fly at supersonic speed, defeating the "demon in the sky".
In 1953 Muroc, now Edwards Air Force Base, still attracts the best test pilots. Yeager (now a colonel) and friendly rival Scott Crossfield (Scott Wilson) repeatedly break the other's speed records. The "prime" pilots often visit the Happy Bottom Riding Club run by Pancho Barnes (Kim Stanley), where Gordon "Gordo" Cooper (Dennis Quaid), Virgil "Gus" Grissom (Fred Ward) and Donald "Deke" Slayton (Scott Paulin), all captains of the United States Air Force, are among the newer "pudknockers" that hope to also prove that they have "the Right Stuff". Pancho Barnes (Kim Stanley) classifies the pilots at Edwards as either "prime" pilots (such as Yeager and Crossfield) that fly the best equipment or "pudknockers" who only dream about it. The tests are no longer secret, as the military soon recognizes that it needs good publicity for funding, and with "no bucks, no Buck Rogers". Cooper's wife, Trudy (Pamela Reed), and other wives are afraid of becoming widows, but cannot change their husbands' ambitions and desire for success and fame.
In 1957, the launch of the Russian Sputnik satellite alarms the United States government. Politicians such as Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and military leaders demand that NASA help America defeat the Russians in the new Space Race. The search for the first Americans in space excludes Yeager, because he lacks a college degree. Grueling physical and mental tests select the Mercury Seven astronauts, including John Glenn (Ed Harris) of the United States Marine Corps, Alan Shepard (Scott Glenn), Walter Schirra (Lance Henriksen) and Scott Carpenter (Charles Frank) of the United States Navy, as well as Cooper, Grissom and Slayton; they immediately become national heroes. Although many early NASA rockets explode during launch, the ambitious astronauts all hope to be the first in space as part of Project Mercury. Although engineers see the men as passengers, the pilots insist that the Mercury spacecraft have a window, a hatch with explosive bolts, and pitch-yaw-roll controls. However, Russia beats them on April 12th, 1961 with the launch of Vostok 1 carrying Yuri Gagarin into space. The 7 astronauts then decide they've been waiting long enough, and to "get the show on the road".
Shepard is the first American to reach space on the 15-minute sub-orbital flight of Mercury-Redstone 3 on May 5th. After Grissom's similar flight of Mercury-Redstone 4 on July 21st, the capsule's hatch blows open and quickly fills with water. Grissom escapes, but the spacecraft, overweight with seawater, sinks. Many criticize Grissom for possibly panicking and opening the hatch prematurely. Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth on Mercury-Atlas 6 on February 20th 1962, surviving a possibly loose heat shield, and receives a ticker-tape parade. He, his colleagues, and their families become celebrities, including a gigantic celebration in Texas, despite Glenn's wife Annie's (Mary Jo Deschanel) fear of public speaking due to a stutter.
Although test pilots at Edwards mock the Mercury program for sending "spam in a can" into space, they recognize that they are no longer the fastest men on Earth, and Yeager states that "it takes a special kind of man to volunteer for a suicide mission, especially when it's on national TV." While testing the new Lockheed NF-104A, Yeager attempts to set a new altitude record at the edge of space but is nearly killed in a high-speed ejection when his engine failed. Though badly burned, after reaching the ground Yeager gathers up his parachute and walks to the ambulance, proving that he still has the Right Stuff.
The film ends with Cooper's successful launch on May 15th 1963 on Mercury-Atlas 9, ending the Mercury program. As the last American to fly into space alone, he "went higher, farther, and faster than any other American ... for a brief moment, Gordo Cooper became the greatest pilot anyone had ever seen."
In order of screen credits:
- Sam Shepard as Col. Chuck Yeager, USAF
- Scott Glenn as Capt. Alan Shepard, USN
- Ed Harris as Col. John Glenn, USMC
- Dennis Quaid as Capt. Gordon Cooper, USAF
- Fred Ward as Capt. Gus Grissom, USAF
- Barbara Hershey as Glennis Yeager
- Kim Stanley as Pancho Barnes
- Veronica Cartwright as Betty Grissom
- Pamela Reed as Trudy Cooper
- Scott Paulin as Capt. Deke Slayton, USAF
- Charles Frank as Scott Carpenter, USN
- Lance Henriksen as Wally Schirra, USN
- Donald Moffat as Senator (later Vice President) Lyndon B. Johnson
- Levon Helm as Col. Jack Ridley, USAF / Narrator
- Mary Jo Deschanel as Annie Glenn
- Scott Wilson as Scott Crossfield
- Kathy Baker as Louise Shepard
- Mickey Crocker as Marge Slayton
- Susan Kase as Rene Carpenter
- Mittie Smith as Jo Schirra
- Royal Dano as Minister
- David Clennon as Liaison Man
- Jeff Goldblum and Harry Shearer as the NASA recruiters sent to find astronaut candidates
- Jane Dornacker as Nurse Murch
- John P. Ryan as Head of Program
- Eric Sevareid as Himself
- William Russ as Slick Goodlin
- Robert Beer as President Dwight D. Eisenhower
- Peggy Davis as Sally Rand
- John Dehner as Henry Luce
- Royce Grones as 1st X-1 pilot, who was Jack Woolams
- General Chuck Yeager as Fred, the bartender at Pancho's
- Anthony Munoz as Gonzales
The following real people also appeared in archive footage in uncredited cameos: Ed Sullivan with Bill Dana (playing his character José Jiménez). Yuri Gagarin and Nikita Khrushchev are seen embracing at a review, with Georgi Malenkov, Nikolai Bulganin, Kliment Voroshilov and Anastas Mikoyan in attendance. Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy are also seen.
In 1979, independent producers Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler outbid Universal Pictures for the movie rights to Tom Wolfe's book, hiring William Goldman to write the screenplay. At Winkler's suggestion, Goldman's adaptation focused on the astronauts, entirely ignoring Chuck Yeager.  Goldman was inspired to accept the job because he wanted to say something patriotic about America in the wake of the Iran hostage crisis.
In June 1980 United Artists agreed to finance the film up to $20 million and the producers began looking for a director. Michael Ritchie and John Avildsen was originally attached but both fell through. They approached director Philip Kaufman who agreed to make the film but did not like Goldman's script, disliking the emphasis on patriotism and wanting Yeager put back in the movie. Eventually Goldman quit the project in August 1980 and United Artists pulled out.
When Wolfe showed no interest in adapting his own book, Kaufman wrote a draft in eight weeks. His draft restored Yeager to the story because "if you're tracing how the future began, the future in space travel, it began really with Yeager and the world of the test pilots. The astronauts descended from them".
After the financial failure of Heaven's Gate, the studio put The Right Stuff in turnaround and The Ladd Company stepped in with an estimated $17 million. According to Alan Ladd, Jr., the final budget was closer to $27 million.
Actor Ed Harris auditioned twice in 1981 for the role of John Glenn. The first time was in an office with Chartoff and Kaufman and the actor felt that he did not do a good job. A month later, he auditioned again on videotape. Originally, Kaufman wanted to use a troupe of contortionists to portray the press corps, but settled on the improvisational comedy troupe Fratelli Bologna, known for its sponsorship of "St. Stupid's Day" in San Francisco. The director created a snake-like hiss to accompany the press corps whenever they appear, which was achieved through a sound combination of (among other things) motorized Nikon cameras and clicking beetles.
Shot between March and October 1982, with additional filming continuing into January 1983, most of the film was shot in and around San Francisco, where a waterfront warehouse was transformed into a studio.[N 1] Location shooting took place primarily at the abandoned Hamilton Air Force Base north of San Francisco which was converted into a sound stage for the numerous interior sets. No location could substitute for the distinctive Edwards Air Force Base landscape which necessitated the entire production crew move to the Mojave Desert for the opening sequences that framed the story of the test pilots at Edwards.
Yeager was hired as a technical consultant on the film. He took the actors flying, studied the storyboards and special effects, and pointed out the errors. To prepare for their roles, Kaufman gave the actors playing the seven astronauts an extensive videotape collection to study.
The efforts at making an authentic feature led to the use of many full size aircraft, scale models and special effects to replicate the scenes at Edwards Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral. According to special visual effects supervisor Gary Gutierrez, the first special effects were too clean and they wanted a "dirty, funky, early NASA look." Kaufman was unhappy with the results and shut down work and fired many of the effects crew. Gutierrez and his team started from scratch, employing unconventional techniques—like going up a hill with model airplanes on wires and fog machines to create clouds, or shooting model F-104s from a crossbow device and capturing their flight with up to four cameras. Avant garde filmmaker Jordan Belson created the background of the Earth as seen from high-flying planes and from orbiting spacecraft.
Kaufman gave his five editors a list of documentary images the film required and they searched the country for film from NASA, the Air Force, and Bell Aircraft vaults. They also discovered Russian stock footage not viewed in 30 years. During the course of the production, Kaufman met with resistance from the Ladd Company and threatened to quit several times. In December 1982, 8,000 feet of film portraying John Glenn's trip in orbit and return to Earth disappeared or was stolen from Kaufman's editing facility in Berkeley, California. The missing footage was never found but the footage was reconstructed from copies.
Film models 
A large number of film models were assembled for the production; for the more than 80 aircraft appearing in the film, static mock-ups and models were used as well as authentic aircraft of the period. Lt. Col. Duncan Wilmore (ret.) acted as the United States Air Force liaison to the production, beginning his role as a technical consultant in 1980 when the pre-production planning had begun. The first draft of the script in 1980 had concentrated only on the Mercury 7 but as subsequent revisions developed the treatment into more of the original story that Wolfe had envisioned, the aircraft of late-1940s that would have been seen at Edwards AFB were required. Wilmore gathered World War II era "prop" aircraft including:
- Douglas A-26 Invader
- North American P-51 Mustang
- North American T-6 Texan and
- Boeing B-29 Superfortress
The first group were mainly "set dressing" on the ramp while the Confederate Air Force (now renamed the Commemorative Air Force) B-29 "Fifi" was modified to act as the "mothership" to carry the Bell X-1 and X-1A rocket-powered record-breakers.
Other "real" aircraft included the early jet fighters and trainers as well as current USAF and United States Navy examples. These flying aircraft and helicopters included:
- Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
- LTV A-7 Corsair II
- North American F-86 Sabre
- Convair F-106 Delta Dart
- McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
- Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw
- Sikorsky SH-3 Sea King
- Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
- Northrop T-38 Talon
A number of aircraft significant to the story had to be recreated. The first was an essentially static X-1 that had to at least roll and even realistically "belch flame" which was accomplished by a simulated rocket blast from the exhaust pipes. A series of wooden mock-up X-1s were used to depict interior shots of the cockpit, the mating up of the X-1 to a modified B-29 fuselage and bomb bay and ultimately to recreate flight in a combination of model work and live-action photography. The "follow-up" X-1A was also an all-wooden model.
The U.S. Navy's Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket that Crossfield duelled with Yeager's X-1 and X-1A was recreated from a modified Hawker Hunter jet fighter. The climactic flight of Yeager in a Lockheed NF-104A was originally to be made with a modified Lockheed F-104 Starfighter but ultimately, Wilmore made the decision that the production had to make do with a Luftwaffe F-104G, which lacks the rocket engine of the NF-104.
Wooden mock-ups of the Mercury space capsules also realistically depicted the NASA spacecraft and were built from the original mold.
For many of the flying sequences, scale models were produced by USFX Studios and filmed outdoors in natural sunlight against the sky. Even off-the-shelf plastic scale models were utilized for aerial scenes. The X-1, F-104 and B-29 models were built in large numbers as a number of the more than 40 scale models were destroyed in the process of filming. The blending together of miniatures, full-scale mock-ups and actual aircraft was seamlessly integrated into the live-action footage. The addition of original newsreel footage was used sparingly but to effect to provide another layer of authenticity.
MPAA Rating 
The film was originally rated "R" (Restricted, which means no one under 17 admitted) by the Motion Picture Association of America because of some strong language (the word "fuck" is used 5 times, which meant a near-impossible chance of it not being rated "R") a scene of implied masturbation and other hard content; but it was given a "PG" rating on appeal (the PG-13 rating did not exist then; it was created the year after this film was released). 
Box office 
The Right Stuff had its world premiere on October 16, 1983, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., to benefit the American Film Institute. It was given a limited release on October 21, 1983, in 229 theaters, grossing $1.6 million on its opening weekend. It went into wide release on February 17, 1984, in 627 theaters where it grossed an additional $1.6 million on that weekend. Despite immense critical acclaim and winning four Academy Awards, the film grossed only $21.5 million in North America on an estimated $27 million dollar budget.
As part of the promotion for the film, Veronica Cartwright, Chuck Yeager, Gordon Cooper, Scott Glenn and Dennis Quaid appeared at the 1983 World Science Fiction Convention in Baltimore.
The Right Stuff was well received by critics and currently holds a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Film critic Roger Ebert named The Right Stuff best film of 1983, and wrote, "it joins a short list of recent American movies that might be called experimental epics: movies that have an ambitious reach through time and subject matter, that spend freely for locations or special effects, but that consider each scene as intently as an art film". He later named it one of the best films of the decade and wrote, "The Right Stuff is a greater film because it is not a straightforward historical account but pulls back to chronicle the transition from Yeager and other test pilots to a mighty public relations enterprise". He later put it on #2 on his 10 best of the 1980's, behind Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull.  Gene Siskel, Ebert's co-host of At the Movies, also named The Right Stuff the best film of 1983, and said "It's a great film, and I hope everyone sees it." Siskel also went on to include The Right Stuff at #3 on his list of the best films of the 1980's, behind Shoah and Raging Bull.
In his review for Newsweek, David Ansen wrote, "When The Right Stuff takes to the skies, it can't be compared with any other movie, old or new: it's simply the most thrilling flight footage ever put on film". Gary Arnold in his review for the Washington Post, wrote, "The movie is obviously so solid and appealing that it's bound to go through the roof commercially and keep on soaring for the next year of so". In his review for The New York Times, Vincent Canby praised Shepard's performance: "Both as the character he plays and as an iconic screen presence, Mr. Shepard gives the film much well-needed heft. He is the center of gravity". Pauline Kael wrote, "The movie has the happy, excited spirit of a fanfare, and it's astonishingly entertaining, considering what a screw-up it is".
Yeager said of the film: "Sam [Shepard] is not a real flamboyant actor, and I'm not a real flamboyant-type individual ... he played his role the way I fly airplanes". Deke Slayton said that none of the film "was all that accurate, but it was well done". Slayton later described the movie as being "as bad as the book was good, just a joke". Walter Schirra said, "They insulted the lovely people who talked us through the program - the NASA engineers. They made them like bumbling Germans". Scott Carpenter felt that it was a "great movie in all regards". Fellow test pilot and astronaut Neil Armstrong (who was not portrayed in the film) said the movie "was very good filmmaking but terrible history: the wrong people working on the wrong projects at the wrong times. It bears no resemblance whatever to what actually was going on".
Wolfe made no secret that he disliked the film, especially because of changes from his original book. William Goldman, involved in early drafts of the script, also disliked the choices made by Kaufman, saying in his book Adventures In The Screen Trade that Kaufman believed that Yeager was a true hero, and only he had the titular "right stuff", while the astronauts had just gotten lucky and did not match up to him in any way. Critics, however, generally were favorable toward the film. Robert Osborne, who introduced showings of the movie on Turner Classic Movies, was quite enthusiastic about the film. The cameo appearance by the real Chuck Yeager in the film was a particular "treat" which Osborne cited. The recounting of many of the legendary aspects of Yeager's life was left in place, including the naming of the X-1, "Glamorous Glennis" after his wife and his superstitious preflight ritual of asking for a stick of Beemans chewing gum from his best friend, Jack Ridley.[N 2]
When the film came out, former (and future) astronaut and Senator John Glenn (Ohio) was running for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. It was felt that the movie might help his chances, but in fact, his candidacy did not go far. Glenn himself suggested that "somehow, the movie's lukewarm reception had a chilling effect on my campaign."
While the movie took liberties with certain historical facts as part of "dramatic license", criticism focused on one: the portrayal of Gus Grissom panicking when his Liberty Bell 7 spacecraft sank following splashdown. Most historians, as well as engineers working for or with NASA and many of the related contractor agencies within the aerospace industry, are now convinced that the premature detonation of the spacecraft hatch's explosive bolts was caused by mechanical failure not associated with direct human error or deliberate detonation at the hands of Grissom.[N 3] This determination had, in fact, been made long before the movie was filmed, and both Schirra and Gordon Cooper were critical of the movie for its treatment of Grissom. However, Kaufman was closely following Tom Wolfe's book, which focused not on how or why the hatch actually blew, but how NASA engineers and some of Grissom's colleagues (and even his own wife) did perceive him to be the cause of the accident; much of the dialogue in this sequence was in fact, taken directly from Wolfe's prose. 
It won four Academy Awards for Best Sound Effects Editing; Best Film Editing; Best Original Score and Best Sound (Mark Berger, Tom Scott, Randy Thom and David MacMillan). It was also nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Sam Shepard), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Geoffrey Kirkland, Richard Lawrence, W. Stewart Campbell, Peter R. Romero, Jim Poynter, George R. Nelson), Best Cinematography (Caleb Deschanel) and Best Picture.
On June 23, 2003, Warner Brothers released a two-DVD Special Edition that featured scene-specific commentaries with key cast and crew members, deleted scenes, three documentaries on the making of the film including interviews with Mercury astronauts and Chuck Yeager, and a feature-length PBS documentary, John Glenn: American Hero.
In addition, the British Film Institute published a book on the movie by Tom Charity in October 1997 that offered a detailed analysis and behind-the-scenes anecdotes.
See also 
- Downtown San Francisco doubled for Lower Manhattan in the ticker-tape parade scene after John Glenn's return to Earth. The scene was shot at the intersection of California and Montgomery Streets in the Financial District, and the Pacific Stock Exchange on the corner of Sansome and Pine Streets can be spotted doubling for the New York Stock Exchange in the final part of the scene. 
- This allusion to Beemans chewing gum was later included in The Rocketeer (1991).
- Schirra proved that activating the hatch explosives would have left a large welt on any part of the body that came in contact with the trigger. He proved this on his Mercury flight when he intentionally blew the hatch on October 3, 1962 when his spacecraft was on the deck of the recovery carrier.
- The Right Stuff at Box Office Mojo
- "The Right Stuff Full credits." Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved: June 10, 2012.
- Ansen, David and Katrine Ames. "A Movie with All 'The Right Stuff'". Newsweek, October 3, 1983, p. 38.
- Goldman p 254
- Goldman p 257
- Goldman p 258
- Wilford, John Noble. "'The Right Stuff': From Space to Screen." The New York Times, October 16, 1983. Retrieved: December 29, 2008.
- Tuck, Lon. "On a Rocket to Stardom". Washington Post, October 15, 1983, C1.
- Williams, Christian. "A Story that Pledges Allegiance to Drama and Entertainment." Washington Post, October 20, 1983, A18.
- Farmer 1984, p. 34.
- Farmer 1984, p. 41.
- Farmer 1983, p. 47.
- Farmer 1983, p. 49.
- Farmer 1983, pp. 50–51.
- Farmer 1983, p. 51.
- Farmer 1984, pp. 72–73.
- Farmer 1984, p. 66.
- Morganthau, Tom and Richard Manning. "Glenn Meets the Dream Machine." Newsweek, October 3, 1983, p. 36.
- Arnold, Gary. "The Stuff of Dreams." Washington Post, October 16, 1983, p. G1 .
- "1983 World Science Fiction Convention." fanac.org, 2012. Retrieved: September 5, 2012.
- "The Right Stuff." rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved: February 22, 2010.
- Ebert, Roger. "'The Right Stuff'." Chicago Sun-Times, October 21, 1983. Retrieved: December 29, 2008.
- Ebert, Roger. "'The Right Stuff': Great Movies." Chicago Sun-Times, March 16, 2002. Retrieved: December 29, 2008.
- [http://siskelandebert.org/video/8OHG6RGH2A6W/At-the-Movies-Best-of-1983 " At the Movies-Best of 1983."] Youtube. Retrieved: May 14, 2013.
- Canby, Vincent. "'Right Stuff', On Astronauts." The New York Times, October 21, 1983. Retrieved: December 29, 2008
- Kael, Pauline. "The Sevens". The New Yorker, October 17, 1983.
- Bumiller, Elisabeth and Phil McCombs. "The Premiere: A Weekend Full of American Heroes and American Hype." Washington Post, October 17, 1983, p. B1.
- Slayton 1994, p. 317.
- Hansen 2005, p. 144.
- Goldman 2001
- Glenn 1999, p. 349.
- Buckbee and Schirra 2005, pp. 72–73.
- Buckbee and Schirra 2005, p. 72.
- Cooper 2000, p. 33.
- Wolfe 1983, chapter 10 "The Unscrewable Pooch".
- "The 56th Academy Awards (1984) Nominees and Winners." oscars.org. Retrieved: October 10, 2011.
- "'The Right Stuff'." The New York Times. Retrieved: January 1, 2009.
- "1984 Hugo Awards." thehugoawards.org. Retrieved: September 5, 2012.
- Buckbee, Ed and Walter Schirra. The Real Space Cowboys. Burlington, Ontario: Apogee Books, 2005. ISBN 1-894959-21-3.
- Charity, Tom. The Right Stuff (BFI Modern Classics). London: British Film Institute, 1991. ISBN 0-85170-624-X.
- Conti, Bill (with London Symphony Orchestra). The Right Stuff: Symphonic Suite; North and South: Symphonic Suite. North Hollywood, California: Varèse Sarabande, 1986. (WorldCat)
- Farmer, Jim. "Filming the Right Stuff." Air Classics, Part One: Vol. 19, No. 12, December 1983, Part Two: Vol. 20, No. 1, January 1984.
- Goldman, William. Which Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade. New York: Vintage Books USA, 2001. ISBN 0-375-70319-5.
- Hansen, James R. First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005. ISBN 0-7432-5631-X.
- Wolfe, Tom. The Right Stuff. New York: Bantam, 2001. ISBN 0-553-38135-0.
- Slayton, Deke and Michael Cassutt. Deke! U.S. Manned Space: From Mercury to the Shuttle. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 1994. ISBN 0-312-85503-6
- Cooper, Gordon. Leap of Faith. Harper Collins Publishers, 2000. ISBN 0-06-019416-2
- Glenn, John. John Glenn: A Memoir. Bantam, 1999. ISBN 0-553-11074-8
- The Right Stuff at the Internet Movie Database
- The Right Stuff at the TCM Movie Database
- The Right Stuff at AllRovi
- The Right Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes
- Beemans Gum Featured In The Right Stuff - At Beemans gum